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View Full Version : OT: Burned out teacher..now what?


callmesusan
09-11-2006, 08:09 PM
ugghhh... :wall: It's my husband. He is a special education (resource) teacher who has taught sp. ed. for 11 years. Last January, I made him get out of his contract, and we lived for 7 months on equity from our home. I couldn't take it anymore. He was miserable, developed a very disruptive sleep disorder, and became seriously depressed. :waah:

In August, he began a new job to which he rides his bike (he used to commute 1-3 hours each way, depending on traffic). He also moved up to middle school from elementary. (We thought the older kids would be a welcomed change.)

But, the job is a BEAST!! x-( We live in a fairly affluent area (at least, a lot of people like to pretend they have money) and his school is the "top performer" in the high stakes testing for the district... (don't get me started on that!) He has two classe in which he teaches language arts and is required to teach grade level standards from grade level material to kids that are at leas two years behind in their abilities. How does that work? Last year the principal let 3 special ed teachers go (unheard of!) because they weren't up to her standards. :tap:

In addition to all of the above, his job includes mass amounts of paperwork for the special ed. part of it in order to comply with laws for sp. ed. kids. And today, he came home and said that he has never seen such a completely disrespectful group of kids. :hair:

I got my teaching credential a year ago, and after helping him get this year going, I think my teaching career is effectively over. :zombie: We have both been in his classroom until 6 or 7 every night and have spent hours and hours there every weekend since he started. It is completely overwhelming, at least to me.

I am afraid of him becoming depressed again and wish he had a different job. Does anyone know of any teacher who has changed careers? What can a teacher do besides teach? :pray:

rebecca
09-11-2006, 08:18 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about this, I will certainly pray for you 2. I am saddened by the way that teachers are treated! Teachers should make BIG $ and be respected for the jobs that they do!!! It breaks my heart to hear of this treatment from children! I wish you lots and lots of luck in the job hunt.

Hildegard_von_Knittin
09-11-2006, 09:03 PM
I'm so sorry! It's horrible when you realize that what you've been doing for the last several years just isn't working for you... and then that feeling of "OMG, what else can I *DO*????"

I think you need to investigate these feelings--why are you having them? Besides the kids, the paperwork... what is it that is causing those feelings? Are you unsupported? Are you not able to apply your knowledge in a way that satisfies you and educated the children? Do you need more professional development? These are just a few questions you can ask to get to the root of your feelings.

My school has an agreement with the local counseling center--it's called the Employee Assistance Program-- and we're allowed to go talk to someone, for free, for up to 6 hours. Maybe your husband's school district has a program like that.

I suggest talking to the principal as well. He/She knows that the teachers need to be their BEST in order to perform in the classroom, and will hopefullyinvest the time and resources necessary to bring your husband back to top performing potential.

Stiney
09-11-2006, 09:38 PM
In my experience, former teachers work at B&N. I worked in a B&N last year (between graduating from college and landing a job) and at least half the employees had been teachers at one point--and we had a couple of teachers working second jobs.

But I don't recommend it. It's a thankless, hard job. With awesome discounts, but they don't make up for the overall unpleasantness.

projectgal
09-11-2006, 09:50 PM
I've taken the last few years away from teaching in the school and with all of the new laws in effect, I'm glad I have. I have a few years before my youngest is ready for school. Hopefully things will settle a little before I go back.

I've found that tutoring is what I really enjoy the most. It's one on one and you really do whatever is necessary to meet the child's needs. (Rather than KNOWING what the child needs and sitting with your hands tied.)

If you enjoy working in education, maybe there's just another area you need to find. Maybe start a tutoring business, maybe work for a private school, maybe write curriculum, maybe teach in a local college?

Good luck to you! I know that something will work out.

knitncook
09-11-2006, 10:00 PM
I have quite a few friends who are homeschooling now who were teachers before they had kids and decided to homeschool. Some of them teach through the community college program (adult high) or do tutoring. One of my friends tutors anywhere between $12-$30 an hour depending on the subject. I'd probably be depressed too in a thankless, tiring, paperwork-filled job that was high stress for high preformance. Has he looked at private schools or places like Sylvan?

Now the unschooler in me is going to speak :D What are his passions? What is it that he :heart: :heart: to do? Can he find a way to incorporate his passions into a career? I have a friend whose son makes really good money teaching kids to skateboard. Another friend does adventure guides, taking people out river rafting, or mountain climbing. So you can make just about anything you are passionate about work for you!

callmesusan
09-11-2006, 11:48 PM
Thank you for all of your encouraging words. I will pass your ideas on! Yes, he has a passion: bicycle riding. He loaded up his trailer and went on his first tour this summer. Due to saddle sores he had to turn around at the 300 mile mark. He wants to build a bike! Thanks to all. :muah: